The following suggestions were adapted by my mindfulness tutor from the University of Bangor, Gwennie Fraser, from Saki Santorelli, ‘Mindfulness and Mastery in the Workplace: 21 Ways to Reduce Stress During the Workday’.
You don’t need to have studied mindfulness to usefully integrate them into your day, and it will make a difference to the way you feel. There’s something very calming about living your life as it is, not as you’d like it to be.
- Bring awareness to your breath and body when you wake up in the morning, take a few conscious breaths and practice half-smiling before getting out of bed.
- From time to time during the day, bring awareness to your body posture, what your body is doing and how you make transitions between body movements.
- Bring awareness to your breathing at various times of the day. Choose to take a few conscious breaths, following the breath all the way in and all the way out.
- Use natural mindfulness triggers during the day to bring your attention back to the present moment: when the phone rings, when you pass through door ways, when you stop at traffic lights, when a sound comes into your awareness. Use these moments, to take a breath and to come into body sensation, feeling your feet on the ground.
- When you eat or drink, bring awareness to the process of stopping, tasting, sensing and nourishing yourself.
- Bring awareness to body sensations as you go about your day, feeling the touch of air on your skin, the parts of the body in contact with the ground, the movement of your limbs as you walk.
- Notice when you are rushing or hurrying. Bring awareness to your state of mind, emotions and body sensations in these moments. Notice if tension is arising. See if there is a possibility of choosing a different stance. Whenever possible, just do one thing at a time. Enjoy the present moment!
- When you find yourself waiting or queuing for something, use these moments as valuable opportunities to stop and tune into your experience. If you are feeling impatient in these moments, bring awareness to that.
- Bring awareness to the arising of tension in your body during the day, or check periodically for tension in your most vulnerable spots. Use these as barometers as to your stress levels and if possible, breathe into these spots, and ease the tension by letting it go.
- Continue to choose daily activities that you can conduct consciously with mindful attention: brushing your teeth, doing the washing up, getting dressed. Pay full attention to what you are doing and when the mind wanders bring it back.
- Bring awareness to patterns of communication: talking and listening as well as periods of silence and notice your states of mind during these activities.
- Try to be more present during the moments of your life: feeling the breeze on your skin as your walk, noticing the small flower that is growing out of the crack in the wall, the call of the wild geese flying overhead as they start their long journey home.
- Practice tuning your mind toward a more positive frame: reflect on everything you feel grateful for today; reflect upon the positive moments and what has gone well.
- Before falling asleep at night, bring awareness to your breathing and your body sensations for at least five whole breaths, all the way in and all the way out.